The old cliche goes it's not how you start, it's how you finish. But sometimes, it's how you start and finish.
But for Carson High girls basketball coach Alana Williams, the rest of the game is just as important. The Senators jumped out to a big lead, let McQueen back into it, then finished with a bang to beat the Lancers 60-41 on Saturday at home.
"I was glad how they finished," Williams said. "They had a good start and a good ending. But the middle part, we need a little work."
While Carson's starting five of Katie Kotter, Ciarra Christian, Andrea Hoff, Nicole Scott and Tabitha Adams had a solid game, Williams says her five starters have yet to reach their potential. She said she's still waiting for "all five of them to put it together.
"It would be a dream to see them put it together on the same day. I would love to see that. I'd just like to see all five of them on the same page at the same time. That would be awesome to see."
Carson used its pressure to jump out to a 16-5 lead. After McQueen closed to within 16-9, Adams scored on a fast break layup off of a pass from Kelli Weyrick to give the Senators (15-8) an 18-9 lead after one quarter.
Carson led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, but McQueen hit a three-pointer to close to within 28-20 at halftime. McQueen closed to within 32-28 before Carson took charge of the game, outscoring 25-4 to take a 57-32 lead.
Hoff scored inside and Christian hit two free throws to give Carson a 40-30 lead after three quarters.
Carson continued the rally to begin the fourth quarter, which turned out to be a 14-0 run. The Senators scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter as Kotter and Hoff scored on putbacks, Christian scored on two fast breaks on passes from Adams and Scott and Hoff scored again to make it 50-30. Christian scored on a beautiful spin move in the lane to give the Senators a 57-32 lead.
Liz Rankl stopped an 8-0 McQueen run when she scored on a pass from Rachel Winters to finish the scoring.
"You've got to give credit to McQueen, they just didn't quit," Williams said. "I think our pressure wore them down in the end."
Christian scored 17 points, Hoff had 14 points, Scott had 12 points and Kotter added six points. Hoff and Scott gave Carson a strong 1-2 scoring punch inside. "I thought that they did real well," Williams said.
Adams continued to give her unsung contributions. "She's so consistent," Williams said. "A lot of good plays do not show up in the boxscore."
MCQUEEN 48, CARSON JVS 40
Despite a valiant effort, Carson's junior varsity girls basketball team fell short against McQueen. Sandra McAlman had 19 points and four rebounds, Sami Valerius had nine points and seven rebounds, Kaitlin Burroughs scored seven points and Briana Dodge posted 12 rebounds.